Beatriz González: life and important moments of the artist

Beatriz González | González’s artistic career | The artist’s influence in Latin America | Was she a politically inclined woman?

Are you interested in Colombian females? Then you should get to know Beatriz González. She is an artist who, through her work, has dealt with many aspects of the culture of her country. If you want to know part of the history of this territory, we invite you to keep reading. 

Important moments in the life of Beatriz González

She is a Bucaramanga woman. Born in 1932, she was considered a Colombian beauty. In 1956, before becoming a student, she traveled to Europe for the first time. European culture fascinated her. Therefore, that year, when she returned to her country, she began her studies in Architecture at the National University of Colombia.

She did not finish her undergraduate studies. However, after two years of studying, she decided to pursue visual arts. In 1958, she returned to Bucaramanga, where she continued on her journey with art.The following year, in 1959, she decided to return to Bogota, to enter the Faculty of Arts at the Universidad de Los Andes (Forero, 2004).

From that moment on, she became a painter and engraver at the Universidad de Los Andes. We could say that she became one of the most important students of this institution, along with Marta Traba and Juan Antonio Roda.

González’s artistic career: what has she achieved?

Beatriz had her first solo exhibition in 1964 at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Bogotá. Since then, she has exhibited in Colombia, Spain, the United States, Venezuela, and Brazil. One of her most important solo exhibitions was in 1998 at El Museo del Barrio in New York. 

This Colombian pop artist’s work is expressed through drawing, graphics, and sculpture. In many cases, the artist generates an atmosphere where she describes the pain of violence and death. In the same way, she represents the values of pre-Columbian and aboriginal art.

Important art institutions have pieces of her work. For example:

  • National Museum of Bogota
  • Bogota Museum of Modern Art
  • National University Art Museum

She was also a curator of different exhibitions. The most outstanding ones were:

  • Luis Ángel Arango Library
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Museum of Religious Art of Bogota

There you can see how political hierarchies within society break down (Laverde, 1999).

The artist’s influence in Latin America

Beatriz Gonzalez has had a great deal of influence within the region. She exhibited the first tables and beds at the II Bienal de Coltejer in 1970 in Medellin, Colombia. At that time, she presented two pieces. The first was The Last Table. The second was Almost Dead Nature.

The first was a version of Leonardo’s Last Supper. She painted it on the surface of a dining table. The second was a version of a print of the Dying Christ. In this case, she had decided to paint it on a metal sheet. The religious community found both works offensive.

From that moment on, her name became more widely known in Latin America. Journalists, critics, and art historians quickly considered Gonzalezs work to be pop, modern and populist. That is, through her art she sought to transgress what had become socially acceptable to show the inequalities of Latin America.

After that, she incorporated new popular artistic resources into her work. This made her one of the main exponents of Latin American avant-gardism in the last decades (Walsh, 2003).

Was she a politically inclined woman?

She never showed partisan political leanings. However, she painted three Colombian presidents – Turbay, Lleras, and Belisario. All of them had feather plumes, something that could be interpreted as a symbol of their ineptitude. However, she never revealed the symbolism behind her work.

Another outstanding work was Los Suicidas del Sisga. There, the Colombian artist marked a before and after in Colombian art. With that work, Colombia became part of the Latin American plastic arts scene. The work did not have a social denotation. Its value was merely artistic (Meneses, 2018).  In short, she is a woman who had a great artistic slide. Many of her works had a notable influence on the continent. Her work is a perfect means to understanding more about the culture of Colombia. 

References

Forero, H. (2004). “Su obra”, de Beatriz González. Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/110/11061118.pdf

Laverde, M.  (1999). Desplazamientos, decisiones y tránsitos en la obra de Beatriz González. Revista Nómadas. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/1051/105114274010.pdf

Meneses, F. (2018). Los suicidas del Sisga. Historia del arte. https://historia-arte.com/obras/los-suicidas-del-sisga

Walsh, C. (2003). Estudios culturales latinoamericanos, retos desde y sobre la región andina. Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar. http://www.ceapedi.com.ar/imagenes/biblioteca/libreria/340.pdf